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Battle fought, then sandwiches

November 24, 2014 in Events, General, News

Andy Davey works on the Procartoonists team banner

Andy Davey works on the Procartoonists team banner

Andy Davey gives his post-match analysis, as Procartoonists team captain, on the Battle of the Cartoonists 2014 Photos by Kasia Kowalska

It was great to take part in the Battle of the Cartoonists at Trinity Buoy Wharf in one of the less glamorous quarters of London’s fashionable Docklands. We cartoonists are not used to glamour, so it was perhaps fitting that a bunch of grubby satirists should be let loose in an old oil and hemp store on a wharf overlooking the Dome.

We, the PCO team, had done some vague pre-planning but left enough room for the spontaneity and creativity of the el Galacticos in our team – Jeremy Banx, Guy Venables and ex-Punch and Readers Digest cartoon editor Steve Way.

The Procartoonists team of Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Steve Way and Guy Venables

The Procartoonists team of Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Steve Way and Guy Venables at work. Note PCO banner from the 2008 St Pancras Battle in the background.

The work was good all round this year,  the quality of banner artwork was excellent and all kept on-theme (Recording Britain Now). The Independent deservedly won with a cohesively themed banner showing the map of the UK boasting “Here Be Monsters”. The draughtsmanship was superb, led by the inestimable pen of Dave Brown, with Peter Schrank, Dave Simonds and Matt Buck.

The Independent's winning banner

The Independent’s winning banner. Click to enlarge

Dave Brown, Matt Buck and Dave Simonds celebrate Grand Prix-style

Dave Brown, Matt Buck and Dave Simonds celebrate Grand Prix-style

Other teams present were The Guardian (Steve Bell, Ros Asquith and Kipper WIlliams) and Private Eye (Simon Pearsall, Henry Davies, Kathryn Lamb and David Ziggy Greene). The Eye, those perennial winners of the popular clap-o-meter vote, didn’t win this year but had a banner that could easily have done so – a delight of wit, simplicity and minimalism, including several excellent gags.

Detail of Henry Davies cartoons from the Private Eye banner

Detail of Henry Davies cartoons from the Private Eye banner

Kipper Williams and detail from the Guardian banner

Kipper Williams and detail from the Guardian banner. Click to enlarge

Of course, it pains me to say all this as captain of the Procartoonists.org team. I have, of course, offered, in the manner of honour down the centuries, to take the pistol and whisky option, or a more public display of seppuku with a blunt nib.

It’s quite a challenge to get the whole thing planned, drawn and coloured within the two-hour limit, so seeing the banners finished is always a treat. And it’s even more of a treat to get a free bacon sandwich and beer afterwards. Phew, largesse unknown to the likes of us scribblers.

The banners are to be sold off, apparently, so if you want a 4m x 1m work of spontaneous art to decorate your stately home, contact the Campaign For Drawing.

For sale: the finished PCO banner is held aloft

For sale: the finished PCO banner is held aloft

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Cartoonists prepare to do battle

November 17, 2014 in Events, General, News

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A team from the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation will once again take part in the Battle of the Cartoonists. (Cartoon above by Bill Stott)

The event is organised by the Campaign for Drawing, the people behind The Big Draw, and will take place at the Electrician’s Shop gallery, Trinity Buoy Wharf, in east London this Sunday (23 November) from 12pm-5pm. Admission is free.

Four teams, from Procartoonists, The Guardian, The Independent and Private Eye will each create huge banners on the theme of “Recording Britain Now” (click here for the full list of events on that theme).

The winner will be chosen by popular vote i.e. the team that gets the most cheers and applause. Banners from previous Battles over the past decade will be on display. Free cartoon workshops for all ages will also take place.

PCO members at work on Battle of the Cartoonists banners at Somerset House in 2006 ...

PCO members in the Battle of the Cartoonists at Somerset House 2006 …

... Covent Garden in 2007 ...

… Covent Garden 2007 …

... St Pancras Station in 2008 ...

… St Pancras Station 2008 …

... the Idea Generation gallery 2009 ...

… the Idea Generation gallery 2009 …

... Hay's Galleria 2010 ...

… Hay’s Galleria 2010 …

... and the V&A, 2012.

… and the V&A 2012.

Sir John Sorrell, a cartoon and drawing aficionado who was was publisher of The Cartoonist, the “cartoon newspaper”, will launch the event and will give a talk about the importance of visual satire.

The team line-ups are as follows (all teams feature Procartoonists members):

Procartoonists.org Andy Davey, Jeremy Banx, Neil Dishington, Steve Way

Private Eye Henry Davies, Kathryn Lamb, Simon Pearsall, David Ziggy Greene

The Guardian Ros Asquith, Steve Bell, Ben Jennings, Kipper Williams

The Independent Dave Brown, Peter Schrank, David Simonds, Matt Buck

We wish all the teams the very best of luck!

The Round-up

November 13, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun. Click to enlarge

Public voting is under way for the Political Cartoon of the Year 2014. Those in the running include the Procartoonists.org members Andy Davey, above, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Steve Bright and Gary Barker.

The Times’s political cartoonist Peter Brookes is the subject of a short film called The Art of Satire, part of the newspaper’s Unquiet films series, celebrating its contributors and other aspects of the newspaper’s production (there’s even one for font geeks, we know you’re out there).

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

Many cartoonists have contributed to the new Stars on Canvas charity auction, in aid of the Willow foundation, which provides memorable days and experiences for seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40.

The contributors include a whole bunch of PCO members: Rob Murray, Kipper Williams, Mike Williams, Jonesy, Jonathan Cusick, Matt Percival. Jonathan Pugh, Royston Robertson, Lawrence Goldsmith, Kate Taylor, Tony Husband and Noel Ford.

The BBC has a short film on Quentin Blake, talking about his new book The Five of Us, which is about a group of children who overcome diabilities

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

The Chris Beetles Gallery‘s winter selling exhibition The Illustrators opens this weekend (15 November). It features illustration from 1800 to the present day. One of the contempiorary artists featured is Procartoonists member Jonathan Cusick, above.

Britain has a poet laureate and a children’s laureate and now Dave Gibbons, best known as the artist behind Watchmen, has been named as the first comics laureate, an initiative by the charity Comics Literacy Awareness.  Gibbons recently spoke to the Guardian about his lifelong passion for the medium.

One person who doesn’t need convincing about the worth of comics is Price Harry, who revealed his love for them as he met cartoonist Will Kevans.

"Wittertainment" presenters © Terry Anderson

“Wittertainment” presenters © Terry Anderson

Finally, cartoons on the radio is a phenomenon that happens all too rarely but the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo film review show and podcast, known to its army of fans as Wittertainment, has started a regular feature called Cartoonists’ Corner, so those who listen to the show while drawing cartoons can say hello.

Those inaugurated into Cartoonists’ Corner so far include Procartoonists members Martin Rowson and Royston Robertson. And the Witertainment presenters have been caricatured, above,  by Terry Anderson. Pictured, clockwise, are Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode, plus the recent stand-in presenters James King and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

The Round-up

June 17, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kipper Williams draws Duchamp in Herne Bay. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Kipper Williams draws Duchamp in Herne Bay. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Kasia Kowalska writes:

The Marcel Duchamp in Herne Bay Festival, which many Procartoonists members took part in, has won a hat-trick of gongs at the Culture Awards for East Kent. It was given the experience award, best project involving the wider community and the people’s award — the latter voted by the public. Our congratulations go to the organisers and all involved in the event.

Andy Davey, former Procartoonists.org chairman, shares his thoughts about the future of political cartoons with the ITV News reporter Olivia Paterson.

Another PCO member, Harry Harrison, draws attention to the importance of political cartoons in press freedom by taking part in an exhibition at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong.

The controversial El Jueves cover

The controversial El Jueves cover

The Spanish satirical magazine, El Jueves, was involved in a censorship row when many prominent cartoonists — Albert Monteys and Manel Fontdevila among them — resigned following the unprecedented pulping of the magazine’s issue featuring a cartoon of the abdicating king, Juan Carlos, and the future king, Felipe VI above.

For the past 37 years, El Jueves has been an unwavering voice of social and political commentary in the country. The disgruntled cartoonists are rumoured to be setting up a rival publication.

Cartoon © Dave Brown of The Independent

Cartoon © Dave Brown of The Independent. Click to enlarge

In light of the recent events in the Middle East, the debate surrounding the legacy of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 continues, with The Independent publishing a chilling editorial cartoon by new Procartoonists.org member Dave Brown, above, based on Turner’s Death on a Pale Horse. PolicyMic.com considers the history of British meddling in the Middle East as told in ten classic cartoons.

If that’s not quite enough for you, Peter Casillas, a self-proclaimed “cartoon junkie”, has created an extensive database of cartoons charting the history of the region from 1853 to the present, called A Cartoon History of the Middle East.

Pat Mills at the Cartoon Museum. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Pat Mills at the Cartoon Museum. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

The exhibition Never Again! World War One in Cartoon and Comic Art was opened last week by Pat Mills, above, of Charley’s War fame. He will be giving a talk to tie in with the exhibition in October.

The Huffington Post features a series of cartoons on climate change. The Danish Niels Bugge Cartoon Award 2014 organised an international competition titled Oceans Are in Our Hands.

For the inspired budding cartoonist, there is still time to take part in the NOISE Festival 2014 which aims to give a platform to undiscovered talent. One of the curators is Gerald Scarfe. Entries must be in by 6 July.

Finally, Jim Davis shows how to draw a very famous ginger cat who turns 36 this week using a Wacom Cintiq in this short video. But if you are more of a dog person, this should prick up yours ears.

The Round-up

October 21, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© George Grosz @Procartoonists.org

George Grosz, the German satirical artist who has inspired so many of today’s cartoonists, is the subject of a new exhibition at the Richard Nagy gallery in London – the first retrospective of Grosz’s work to be held in the UK for almost 20 years. Read more about the show here.

Matt Pritchett of The Telegraph has been named Pocket Cartoonist of the Year for an impressive seventh time. Other winners at the Cartoon Art Trust‘s gala dinner on 17 October included Procartoonists.org member Kipper Williams (The Guardian), Peter Brookes (The Times), Peter Schrank (The Independent), and Mike Barfield (Private Eye). The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Nicholas Garland. Cartoonist Oliver Preston, who MC’d the ceremony and set up the Cartoon Art Trust Awards in 1995, has plenty more about the awards evening here. Congrats and kudos to all the winners.

Michael Maslin, a regular cartoonist for The New Yorker, asks his peers to reveal some of their most autobiographical gags and the inspiration behind them. Read the responses here.

We are sorry to note that James Sillavan (JAS) has died at the age of 63. His cartoons appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, notably The Guardian, The Observer, The Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Tablet and The Economist. The Guardian has a detailed obituary here.

An auction of original Giles cartoons has far exceeded estimates. Visit the BBC for more details and a short video.

And finally – looking for something special for the history buff in your life? PCOer Adrian Teal, himself something of an expert on the 18th Century, is one of the brains behind this ‘replica cundum’, which is being auctioned on behalf of Cancer Research UK. Go on – you know you want to.

The Round-up

August 11, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

 

© Kipper Williams @Procartoonists.org

Above: with the Duchamp in Herne Bay festivities now behind us, there’s just room for this cartoon by Kipper Williams – featuring the names of participating cartoonists, many of whom are among our membership. The original is hanging in a gallery space in the Kent seaside town, as part of an exhibition of art cartoons to tie in with the celebrations.

Alexander Matthews, a cartoonist for The Beano and member of Procartoonists.org, has started a campaign to improve the quality of children’s comics by making them more reliant on great content and less on cover-mounted freebies. He is suggesting a change to the way in which free gifts are treated under VAT rules, and is seeking support for the campaign – which he believes would benefit comic fans and cash-strapped parents alike. Read more on Alex’s blog.

Another PCO member, Tony Husband, has had cartoons about his father’s dementia tweeted to millions, courtesy of Stephen Fry. See the cartoons here, here and here. Fry also wrote the introduction for I Nearly Died Laughing, a collection of Tony’s gag cartoons that was published last year.

Looking ahead to October, Sue Grayson Ford of The Campaign for Drawing writes about what to expect from this year’s Big Draw, and how to take part.

In an interview for Truthout, political cartoonist Matt Bors discusses his influences, the dangers of on-spec work, and the value of comics journalism. Read it here.

And finally, The New Yorker’s Bob Mankoff looks at what is often considered to be one of the hardest forms of cartoon to master: the captionless gag.

The Round-up

July 26, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© Kipper Williams @Procartoonists.org

Kipper Williamspocket cartoonist for The Guardian, member of Procartoonists.org, and the man behind the excellent cartoon above – has provided the illustrations for a new book of anecdotes from record shops. Read more here.

Ian Hislop and Richard Ingrams – editors of Private Eye and The Oldie respectively – will be joined by Nick Newman, long-time contributor to both magazines, for a panel session at the Soho Literary Festival on 26 September. The Cartoon Show will feature a slideshow of some of the best gags from the last 50 years, and the trio will talk about what they look for when selecting cartoons for publication. Tickets are available here.

Burmese cartoonist Kyaw Thu Yein tells Cartoon Movement about the way he works, as well as the impact of censorship, in this interview.

As The Beano celebrates its 75th birthday this week, cartoonist Nigel Parkinson talks about the success of Dennis The Menace while drawing a new strip in this short film for The Telegraph.

London’s Southbank Centre is currently host to Beanotown, a celebration of the comic that runs until 8 September and features a range of original artwork on the walls, as well as activities for the kids. Wilbur Dawbarn, a Beano cartoonist and PCO member, produced this huge map of Beanotown, which greets visitors by the entrance:

Wilbur Dawbarn for The Beano @Procartoonists.com

And finally, a brief reminder that next Saturday (3 August) will see a plethora of UK cartooning talent descend on Herne Bay in Kent, to take part in a festival celebrating the seaside town’s connection with Marcel Duchamp. Read more here, and visit us in the coming week for a more detailed post.

The Round-up

May 10, 2013 in Events, General, Links, News

© Christian Adams for The Telegraph @Procartoonists.org

The Premier League was rocked this week by the unexpected news of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s retirement, and cartoonists had a ball with it (sorry). In The Telegraph, Christian Adams put the news in context (above), while Matt Pritchett drew parallels with another recent shock resignation. Over in The Guardian, Kipper Williams considered the impact on industry. On the news that David Moyes is taking the reins, Procartoonists.org member Andy Davey pictures the handover in The Sun.

Rob Murray (full disclosure: the writer of this post!) will be opening up his studio to the public from 16-19 May, exhibiting and selling original cartoons from Private Eye, Reader’s Digest, The Spectator and elsewhere as part of the Summer Open Studios show at Wimbledon Art Studios. Entry is free and all are very welcome.

Stephen Collins celebrates the publication of his new book, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, with a launch party this evening at Gosh! in London. See preview pages in the ‘Big Comics’ section of his website.

Own-it offers a helpful and concise look at the ongoing controversial changes to UK copyright legislation, which pave the way for licensing of orphan works. Read it here.

An obituary for Margaret Groening reveals that her son – Simpsons creator Matt – believes in writing about what (or who) he knows. The Telegraph picks up on the story and provides this handy interactive family tree.

And finally, having recently challenged New Yorker cartoonists to a reverse-engineered caption contest, cartoon editor Bob Mankoff invites readers to have a go.

 

Gallery takes cartoon show north

April 11, 2011 in News

Cartoon by Thelwell
The Chris Beetles Gallery of St James’s, London, is taking its collection of cartoons up the A1 to Nunnington Hall, near York, for a selling exhibition entitled Three Centuries of Cartoon Art which opens tomorrow (April 12).

Cartoon art spanning the ages will be on view, starting with Thomas Rowlandson from the 18th century, through 19th century greats such as Tenniel and on to the 20th century, with such big names as Searle, Thelwell, above, and Larry.

Contemporary newspaper cartoonists will also feature, including Peter Brookes, Matt, Christian Adams, Martin Rowson and Mac.
Tony Husband cartoon

Members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation, which runs the Bloghorn, feature in the show, including Andy Davey, Martin Honeysett, Tony Husband, above, Ed McLachlan, Royston Robertson, Kipper Williams and Mike Williams.

Tony Husband will open the event, talking about his life in cartooning while illustrating this with spontaneous cartoons. For more details, and to see the full exhibition online, visit the Chris Beetles website

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

New cartoon show opening

April 12, 2010 in General

Larry's Van Gogh Collection at Chris Beetles Gallery
A new exhibition devoted to cartoons opens at the Chris Beetles Gallery tomorrow (April 13) and runs until May 1.

The 4th Annual Cartoon Show, at the the gallery in St James’s, London, is a selling exhibition which features more than 20 top artists from the past 100 years of cartooning, plus the following three highlights:

In Memoriam. David Levine’s Caricatures: A celebration of the work of the American caricaturist who died last December. The show features more than 40 pieces, including John Updike, Ezra Pound, and Hemingway.

Larry’s Van Gogh Collection: Cartoons about Vincent Van Gogh and his work by Terence Parkes, aka Larry, above, to coincide with the hit show currently at the Royal Academy. A group of ceramic sculptures by Larry will also be on display.

A Year with Matt: A selection of the best works by Matt Pritchett of the Daily Telegraph from the past year, as well as the latest Matt cartoons from the days leading up to and throughout the show.

Other artists on display include contemporary cartoonists such as Peter Brookes, Tony Husband, John Jensen, Ed McLachlan, Nick Newman, Martin Rowson, Mike Williams and Kipper Williams, alongside artists from the past including H.M. Bateman, Giles and Thelwell.

For more details, visit the Chris Beetles Website.